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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Red haze: Sydney has been hit by a 500km dust storm

The dust has been whipped up by some of the worst droughts in the nation for hundreds of years.

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A LARGE DUST storm has swirled over eastern Australia, driven over the coast by a weather front barrelling across the drought-stricken interior.

Authorities warned residents of Sydney and other parts of New South Wales state who had respiratory or cardiovascular conditions to limit their time outdoors until the dust settled.

The dust storm stretches about 500km across and is driven by some of the worst droughts in the country for hundreds of years. 

Dried soil makes it easier for wind to pick up dust, resulting in the huge dust storm.

Adam Morgan of the Bureau of Meteorology said a low pressure system over South Australia and Victoria states had pushed strong winds across areas of western New South Wales that have experienced one of the worst drought seasons in years.

“This is the typical time of year for dust storms through inland Australia, but it is quite rare for dust to reach the east coast,” he said.

Sydneysiders woke to find a haze over the city Thursday, but the air had cleared by the afternoon.

© – AFP 2018  with reporting by Rónán Duffy

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